Bids for French Elior's Areas catering unit due end Jan-sources

PARIS/MILAN, Jan 11 (Reuters) - French catering group Elior expects bids for its Areas unit, which focuses on catering in railways and motorways, by the end of January, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

The source also said that, based on analyst valuations, Elior hopes to raise 1.5 to 2 billion euros from the sale of Areas, whose 1.8 billion euro 2017-18 revenue accounted for 27 percent of Elior’s sales.

The source said that about ten investment funds - including Carlyle, KKR, Lone Star and Blackstone - are considering making a bid for Areas, and added that Elior has given a mandate for the deal to Morgan Stanley, which is associated with BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole CIB (CACIB).

A second source familiar with the situation said Italian catering group Autogrill is also considering a bid. (Reporting by Jean-Michel Belot in Paris and Francesca Landini in Milan Writing by Geert De Clercq Editing by Richard Lough)